The Steelers beat Baltimore last week to take control of the AFC North. They have had trouble at home though. Carolina is 6-2 and looks more like a playoff team every week. This should be an epic battle between two good running games and defenses. Pittsburgh wins at home in November… Pittsburgh 24, Carolina 17.
With a win over Buffalo last week, Chicago is the NFC North leader. They face division rival Detroit at home this week. The Bears have only beaten the Lions once in their last 10 meetings. This is a much different Bears team though… Chicago 28, Detroit 17.
With a win over the previously unbeaten Rams last week, the Saints have now won seven straight. Drew Brees and the Saints offense are on fire. Can the Bengals tame that fire? They had a week off to prepare and have won four of the last five against the Saints. They last played in 2014, a 27-10 Bengals win. This is the upset of the week… Cincinnati 31, New Orleans 30.
The Falcons have now won three in a row and at 4-4 face struggling Cleveland. Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes against a good Redskins defense last week. Cleveland gave up 375 yards and four touchdowns to Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes last week. That doesn’t look good for the Browns… Atlanta 34, Cleveland 23.
The Patriots won their sixth game in a row with a 31-17 win over Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay last week. Tennessee had a good thing going until they forgot how to score and lost three straight. New England hasn’t lost to the Titans since 2002. That’s seven straight Patriots wins over Tennessee. Sunday’s win makes eight… New England 33, Tennessee 17.
Hard to believe Jacksonville is tied with Indianapolis for last place in the AFC South. Sunday’s loser will stay in the division basement. The Jags (3-5) lost four straight before a bye last week. The Colts (3-5) also had a bye. The Jags have won four of the last five against the Colts. Andrew Luck has been hot lately leading Indy to two straight wins before the bye. But, those wins were over Buffalo and Oakland. Take the home team… Indianapolis 20, Jacksonville 19.
Arizona had an extra week to prepare for 8-1 Kansas City. It won’t matter. The Cardinals are 2-6 with a pair of wins over the 49ers who are 2-7. The Chiefs have the most explosive offense in the NFL. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads a unit that scores a league-best 36.3 points per game. Arizona has the worst offense in the league… Kansas City 38, Arizona 13.
The Bills and Jets meet Sunday in the Turnover Bowl. Whichever team decides to hold on to the ball will likely win. Each team had four turnovers last week in losses. The Jets (2-7) dropped a 13-6 decision to Miami and Buffalo (2-7), which gave up two defensive touchdowns, lost 41-9 to the Bears. The Jets have won three of the last four against the Jets and are playing at home… NY Jets 17, Buffalo 14.
The Redskins (5-3) still sit atop the NFC East despite being blown out by Atlanta last week. The Bucs can score – they have the league’s top passing offense (356.6 yards a game) and average 28.6 points a game – but they can’t stop anyone. Tampa Bay is dead last in scoring defense giving up 34.4 points per game. You can’t beat anybody giving up that many points… Washington 31, Tampa Bay 28.
In three of their last four games, Oakland has failed to score more than one touchdown. They were blown out last week by 2-7 San Francisco. Now, they face the 6-2 Chargers, who have won the last three straight in the series. Oakland’s defense is awful. The Chargers have won five straight. You know how this one turns out… LA Chargers 34, Oakland 17.
Miami (5-4) started the season 3-0. Green Bay has faced one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. The Packers have suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of the Rams (8-1) and Patriots (7-2). Finally, Green Bay is back home where they are unbeaten (3-0-1) this season. The Dolphins are just 1-3 on the road… Green Bay 27, Miami 20.
The Seahawks had visions of playoffs after winning four of five but ran into the Chargers last week. Now 4-4, the Seahawks face the seemingly insurmountable task of defeating the 8-1 Rams. Los Angeles is coming off its first loss of the season and has beaten Seattle once already this season. At home, the Rams aren’t losing in a row… LA Rams 33, Seattle 28.
The Eagles get the benefit of a week off and a game at home against Dallas on Sunday night. The Cowboys played on Monday night last week and have a quick turnaround this week. Philadelphia has won three of the last five in the series and won two of their last three games before the bye week. The Cowboys have yet to win a road game this season… Philadelphia 23, Dallas 20.
This Monday night clash might be more like a pillow fight. The 2-7 49ers host the 1-7 Giants. San Francisco QB Nick Mullens surprised everyone in his first NFL start last week throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Oakland. The Giants can’t run the ball and haven’t won since September. Give the Niners the edge since the Giants have to travel to the West Coast… San Francisco 27, NY Giants 19.
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2018 NFL Football Season
Buffalo @ NY Jets
The winner of this game will have a leg up on the competition for a wild card in the AFC. The loser will continue to fight an uphill battle. The Bills do have QB Tyrod Taylor back and WR Sammy Watkins was magnificent in last week’s win over Miami. The Jets are 3-1 at home and are playing great defense. That should be enough for a win… NY Jets 24, Buffalo 17.
Detroit @ Green Bay
The Lions are, well, just terrible. They fired their GM and team president last week. That plus coming off a bye may give them some renewed energy. Too bad they have to play in Green Bay, a place where Detroit hasn’t won in a long time. The Packers have lost two in a row to two of the league’s best. Don’t expect three… Green Bay 38, Detroit 10.
New England @ NY Giants
It’s the perfect setting for an upset. The Patriots on the road against a pretty explosive Giants offense. QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr make up one of the top passing tandems in the league. So does Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots will find a win and remain unbeaten… New England 44, NY Giants 37.
Arizona @ Seattle
The Seahawks are primed for the second half of the season. The defense is back giving up just 15 points in its last two games. At 4-4, Seattle needs to have a great second half to make the playoffs. It begins with an upset of NFC West leading Arizona. It’s tough to win at CenturyLink Field… Seattle 20, Arizona 17.
Kansas City @ Denver
The Broncos proved they were human last week falling to Indianapolis, their first loss of the season. Denver’s offense is not the highlight reel that it has been the past few seasons, but the defense is solid. The Broncos defense leads the NFL in total defense and points against (17). The Chiefs have won two in a row after five straight losses. They will make a valiant attempt… Denver 34, Kansas City 21.
Dallas @ Tampa Bay
The Cowboys have lost six straight since losing QB Tony Romo to a broken collarbone. Romo’s return is not scheduled until near the end of November, so it will be up to Matt Cassell once again. The Bucs are young but have come up with some wins including a big one over Atlanta. Traveling to Tampa could be tough on the Cowboys… Tampa Bay 23, Dallas 20.
Carolina @ Tennessee
Could they be the Super Bowl favorite? The Panthers are 8-0 and recorded another impressive win last week over Green Bay. The Titans are headed in the opposite direction. At 2-6, they are looking at another top five draft pick… Carolina 33, Tennessee 14.
Chicago @ St. Louis
The Rams lost a close one to Minnesota in overtime last week. RB Todd Gurley is fourth in the league in rushing and the Rams defense is improved. Add in that St. Louis is 3-1 at home and the Bears are in trouble… St. Louis 23, Chicago 10.
New Orleans @ Washington
The Saints are hard to figure out. They beat Atlanta, AFC South leader Indianapolis, and the New York Giants in successive weeks. Then, they find a way to lose to Tennessee. Which team shows up against the Redskins? If the Redskins can catch the football Sunday, they may grab their fourth win… Washington 27, New Orleans 24.
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
A classic AFC North battle. It may be without Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger who injured his left foot in last week’s win over Oakland. Pittsburgh is clearly better but without RB Le’Veon Bell (out for the year) and Roethlisberger, this one will be tough. Still, it’s in Pittsburgh where the Browns do not fare so well… Pittsburgh 17, Cleveland 3.
Minnesota @ Oakland
The surprise team of the NFL may very well be the Vikings who are now tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead. The Raiders are young and still have a shot at the postseason with a 4-4 record at the midpoint of the season. The last time Minnesota traveled to the West Coast, it didn’t turn out so well. Raiders get the upset… Oakland 31, Minnesota 23.
Miami @ Philadelphia
The Eagles may be making a move. A huge win over Dallas last week has Chip Kelly’s team at 4-4 and just half a game behind NFC East division-leading New York. Miami has lost some of the energy it had when interim coach Dan Campbell took over and has lost two in a row. Make it three. The Eagles are 2-1 at home… Philadelphia 35, Miami 28.